Hey there mama...19 May 2017
This has been said before by people more eloquent and knowledgable about this topic than I, but I feel I needed to put my thoughts to paper and put it out there so we can set a precedent within our South African fitness community. CrossFitter or not.
Since getting knocked up, I spent all of my free time researching how to train safely during pregnancy. I found that most information pointed to simply “listening to your body” and to “continue to do what you always did.” I questioned this - on the one hand I found Pelvic Floor Therapists advising clients to stop running and jumping whilst other alternative info showed pregnant clients doing a half marathons because they "were used to it."
How come the woman on instagram was doing toes to bar in her 2nd semester yet from what I heard all evidence points to NOT doing any abdominal exercises in order to limit the severity Diastis Recti? Why were women attempting to PB their deadlifts or lift super heavy when the Valsalva Maneuver, which is usually utilized in these instances is a no no during and post pregnancy?
Because we were not taught otherwise. The information out there is so hard to find. It is outdated, it is too generalized, it contradicts itself. It is limited and some of the information is just wrong. So we are all looking to Instagram for knowledge and inspiration which we all know is a crock of shit.
***Before I continue I just want to say “YOU DO YOU.” I am in no way telling any women how or what to do with her body but this is how would speak to my clients - with no bullshit and no candy coating my beliefs.
I trained smart during pregnancy. I learnt what my body was going through, how it was changing, how it would eventually recover. When running left me feeling sore when walking the next day, I stopped. When I saw the middle of my abs bulge outwards during banded pull ups, I stopped. When I strained just a bit to much on a 30kg Back Squat, I took the weight down.
Sure I felt shit… there was another woman I was following on Instagram that was PBing and RXing things and she was a far along as me. If I didn’t know better, I would have tried the same.
The same goes for Post Partum - why are we not letting our mama’s heal? New mama’s are guilted into loosing the baby weight. 6 weeks - you all clear so go ahead and work out.
NO. This is not how it should be. 6 weeks is so arbitrary and does not take into account individual circumstances. I could be good to go after 6 weeks heck I was cleared at 5, but the woman who damaged her pelvic floor is not ready to jump, skip and run. The mother who had twins and might have DR is not ready to side plank, do burpees or push ups.
I almost fell into this trap. As much as I miss my abs and hate this back fat- my motivation is to compete again and hopefully head to Regionals again so I am chomping at the bit to Olympic lift and get back to the CCF Competition Programme. That same woman who I follow on Instagram is already back to her old routine. She is deadlifting and doing muscle ups and here I am doing shoulder activations and 15kg box squats because I don’t want Pelvic Floor Prolapse. Granted she could have been 100% cleared by her doctor, therapist etc but do most mama's out there know that? Do they know they should absolutely see a PFT during and after pregnancy? That it can take 5 months before you can be cleared to lift anything more than what your kid + car seat weighs?
This craziness has really put a bee in my bonnet. We need to take care of our mama’s - we need to let them heal, we need to stop shaming them because their belly hasn’t tightened up in 2 months. We are damaging women into peeing while they run because they are so ashamed to still hold on to their baby weight, weight that was needed to sustain a life. DO YOU KNOW HOW INSANE THAT IS?
What the fuck human race?
Anyway since having Max and experiencing this for myself, the fire to help all my bad ass mamas out there has been lit. I am doing everything I can to research, learn, experiment and share all info about pregnancy and post partum training that I can.
Lets develop a community that applauds the strength of pregnancy and post partum women instead of a community trying to erase the miracle of life.